School Principals (FMoE, 2013). The professional standard for school principals is designed to include pre-primary, primary and secondary school principals. Thus, the name principal is used for both levels of the targeted schools of this research.
Leading schools today has become indispensable and multifaceted job requiring high standards of proficient practices and competencies to perform it well as leadership is the core agent of change in schools and is process of creating a world where people want to belong (FMoE, 2015a; Sharma, 2009; Harris & Muijs, 2005; Dilts, 1996). Educators have asserted that the most important task of the leader is managing in diversity in which the “emphasis in organizations that are highly diverse must be on creating a climate where people with a dissimilar sense of identity can work together in a way that makes diversity an asset” (El-Ahraf & Gray, 2000, p. 10). This is possible if the school has good leadership, which heavily relies on the principal. For this purpose, the education sector should be serious in assigning or delegating principals for schools. However, this is still a concern for many scholars in the Ethiopian context.
The current practices of assigning principals have become a concern and pressing issue for many educators, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and other concerned education partners (Mitchell, 2015; Goddard et al., 2001). It is because of agony on the principals’ competency on leadership and pedagogical reasons, morale and lack of adequate preparation and training. This will also affect trust between principals, teachers, administrators, parents and students that are essential for school improvement (Frank, 2010), otherwise trust and communication shuts down that leads to distrust, resentment, conflicts, betrayal and revenge that have the potential to threaten the well-being of the school.
As it is vividly articulated in OECD (2009), “Standards of teaching and learning need to improve and improve continuously if schools are to ensure that children and young people can be successful in the future” (p.12). For this, principals have to play a key role in bringing motivation and enhancing the capacity of teachers and creating a healthy climate in which teachers work and learn. This is because teachers are the one who steers the boat; they are like the prophet of the true God; the usher in the true kingdom of God; a reservoir of new spirit and remover of spiritual blindness (John Dewey and Radhakrishnan cited in Aggarwal, 2013 & Sidhu, 2015). For this, teachers need to experience a greater sense of trust and healthy climate in their schools.